‘Integration or Disintegration? Europe at the Crossroads in 2016: The View from Germany, Greece, Poland and the UK’
28 April 2016
St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Not since its origins in the 1950s has the European Union (EU) faced such a dangerous concert of destabilizing events. In the wake of the Eurozone crisis (now quiescent but only partly resolved), in the middle of the migrant crisis (straining the EU’s consensus), and in the run up to the referendum on Britain in the EU (with implications for the cohesion and global influence of both the UK and the rest of the EU), the summer of 2016 could prove to be a crucial turning point for Europe’s destiny.
This conference aims to analyse Europe’s developing existential crisis from the perspective of four countries: Germany, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom. The first is a founding member of the EU, the rest are later arrivals in successive decades, and all of them had different reasons for joining. Two are members of the Eurozone, two are not. One is (for the moment) the undisputed hegemonic power in the EU, another finds itself returned to its historic role of semi-vassal state, while the other two operate in less obedient orbits around the centre. Few seem entirely happy in this constellation.
The conference (see overleaf) is structured around three key themes:
(i) What were the original ambitions of these four countries in joining the EU, to what extent have these been met, and what are their current concerns?
(ii) What are we to make of the economic and financial architecture of the EU—is it doomed or will it work—and how does all this fit into the evolving globalized economy?
(iii) In what way and how strongly do these four countries feel “European”, is there a common European identity which they can all recognize, and how does this square with nationalist identities? Is this European identity strong enough to meld the EU into “ever closer union” or not?
Conference participants will include historians, economists, and political scientists, from each of the four countries considered, in order to gain a genuinely European view. Participants will also be drawn from Oxford University’s own distinguished pool of experts, and from elsewhere in the UK.
The conference will begin with two keynote speeches, from Chris Patten, the Chancellor of Oxford University, who will speak on the political vision for Europe, and from Willem Buiter, the Chief Economist of CitiGroup, who will speak on the economic vision for Europe. It will conclude with an after dinner speech by Margaret MacMillan, Warden of St. Antony’s College.
The conference is being convened by Professors John Darwin, David Vines and Jan Zielonka of Oxford University, under the direction of the Political Economy of Financial Markets (PEFM) Programme at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, and is supported by CitiGroup, which is contributing to its funding. The conference forms part of a series of events in celebration of the Fortieth Anniversary of the European Studies Centre. The conference follows a related event hosted by the Oxford Martin School.
Welcome to St Antony’s College, Oxford, and presentation of rationale for the conference, from Margaret MacMillan (Warden of St Antony’s College) and Andrew Pitt (Citigroup, Head of Research)
10:15-11:15 Whither Europe?
Chair: Margaret MacMillan
Keynote speeches by Lord Patten (Political Vision) and Willem Buiter (Economic Vision)
11:15-11:35 Questions from the floor
11:35-11:55 Coffee break
11:55-13:10 Motivations, aspirations and level of satisfaction with the EU
Chair: John Darwin (History Faculty, Nuffield College, and Director of Oxford Centre for Global History)
Speakers: Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford University), Ulrike Guérot (European School of Governance, Berlin), Ioannis Papadopoulos (University of Lausanne) and Bogusław Chrabota (Editor, Rzeczpospolita)
13:10-13:30 Questions from the floor
14:55-16:10 Globalization, trade, financial crisis and EU
Chair : David Vines (Department of Economics, Balliol College, and Acting Director of PEFM)
Speakers: Ned Phelps (Columbia University), Otmar Issing (President, Centre for Financial Studies), George Pagoulatos (Athens University of Economics & Business), Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz (Mayor of Warsaw)
16:10-16.35 Questions from the floor
16:35-17.00 Coffee break
17:00-18:15 Europe, EU and nation-states: competing identities and loyalties
Chair: Jan Zielonka (Department of Politics and International Relations, St. Antony’s College, and European Studies Centre)
Speakers: Simon Jenkins (Guardian), Christian Joppke (Bern University), Kalypso Nicolaïdis (Oxford University), Ryszard Legutko (University of Kraków, MEP from PiS)
18:15-18:40 Questions from the floor
To register, please visit: https://integrationdisintegration.eventbrite.co.uk
There will be an additional event on Wednesday 27 April at the Oxford Martin School beginning at 11 a.m. This will cover the medium and long term economic prospects affecting all of Europe. The morning session will aim to consider the underlying factors influencing European growth in the context of global demographic, technological and geopolitical trends. The major session after lunch will consider key questions around innovation and growth. This will be followed by a session on the long-term implications of the evolution of Europe’s ageing, pension, and capital markets. To close we will have a panel discussion on the Future of Europe. Speakers will include the Nobel Prize Winner Edmund Phelps, Jean-Luc Schneider, Deputy Director of the Economics Department at the OECD, Saskia Sassen of Columbia University, Paul Seabright of the Toulouse School of Economics, and a number of others.
For Wednesday 27th April register here: http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/event/2316
As we are anticipating that the events will soon be at full capacity, we would encourage you to register as soon as possible. Please note that you will need to register separately for each event.